What do pathologists really do?

"The corpse is already in pathology ..." A persistent error of crime writers! Murder victims, for example, belong to legal medicine or forensic medicine, not to "pathology". Not only many scriptwriters do not know that, but also a large part of the population: Only physicians for forensic medicine or forensic medicine are involved in the investigation of unnatural deaths.

But what tasks does a pathologist then have?

Pathologists, on the other hand, rarely perform autopsies - 99 percent of their work is in the service of the living patient.

The pathologist is - although mostly in the background - a particularly important part of the treatment team.

Whether in screening for women or in colorectal cancer screening, whether during surgery or any other form of treatment, the results of the state-of-the-art pathologists' studies play a prominent role in the search for the best possible diagnosis, therapy and follow-up. In addition, it is often pathologists who uncover the causes of illness and develop modern medical methods.

Importance of the work of pathologists

The importance of diagnosis by the pathologist has steadily increased in recent years. Despite modern laboratory medicine and high-resolution, image-giving procedures, even today many diseases can only be diagnosed by a microscopic examination of tissue samples (biopsies). For this purpose, tissue samples are taken from the patient by endoscopic or surgical procedures.

The specific task of the pathologist is to analyze these tissue samples using microscope examinations and to create a corresponding diagnosis. Thus, the institute creates the basis for a specific and individual therapy planning.

And autopsies?

Post mortem examinations are performed by pathologists only for those who have died naturally in order to clarify the underlying and secondary diseases as well as the cause of death. This serves for quality control and further development in medicine.

In addition, autopsies are particularly important for the counseling of relatives - for example, in the case of infections, occupational diseases and hereditary diseases. In addition, the autopsy serves the training of medical students and the training of young doctors.

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